2018 IRS Assessed $29.3 Billion in Civil Tax Penalties

Failure to comply with filing, reporting, and payment requirements may result in civil penalties or, in some cases, criminal investigation, which may in turn lead to prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. IRS’s Collection function collects Federal taxes that have been reported or assessed but not paid and secures tax returns that have not been filed. IRS’s Criminal Investigation function conducts investigations of alleged criminal violations of the tax code and related financial statutes.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the IRS collected more than $55.5 billion in unpaid assessments on returns filed with additional tax due, netting more than $40.6 billion after credit transfers.

The IRS assessed close to $29.3 billion in civil penalties. Almost $12.0 billion was assessed in civil penalties on individual and estate and trust income tax returns.

In FY 2018, the IRS initiated 2,886 criminal investigations in three areas—legal source tax crimes, illegal source financial crimes, and narcotics-related financial crimes. The IRS completed 3,051 investigations in these areas.

Contact Joseph P. Wilson at 949-397-2292 or jwilson@wilsontaxlaw.com.  
Mr. Wilson represents clients throughout California and the Globe, involving local, state, federal and international civil tax disputes and tax litigation and criminal tax defense. Mr. Wilson is the Managing Shareholder at Wilson Tax Law Group, APLC, former Member of the Executive Committee of the Taxation Section, California Lawyers’ Association, a former IRS Attorney, a former Assistant United States Attorney, and a former Tax Attorney, California Franchise Tax Board. 

Senate Finance Committee Begins Investigation of Abusive Conservation Easement Appraisals

The Senate Finance Committee Chair and Ranking Member announced here that they have started The Senate Finance Committee Chair and Ranking Member announced here that they have started
an investigation into the potential abuse of syndicated conservation easement transactions, which may have allowed some taxpayers to profit from gaming the tax code and deprived the federal government of billions of dollars in revenue. For several years now, the IRS has been investigating these transactions.

They appear to involve promoters selling interests in tracts of land to taxpayers looking for large tax deductions. In such an arrangement, the taxpayers then get inflated appraisals of those tracts of land and grant conservation easements on that land. The resulting inflated charitable deductions are then split among the taxpayers."

The SFC sent letters to 14 "individuals who appear to be associated with these investor groups that might have unfairly profited from conservation easements."  The names are listed on the press release.

If you have a tax issue, contact Wilson Tax Law 949-397-2292.

IRS Auditor in LA Arrested on Federal Bribery Charge

On 5/9/19, Treasury Police (TIGTA) arrested an IRS auditor, Felecia Taylor, at the IRS office in Long Beach for allegedly soliciting and accepting a $5,000 bribe to reduce the tax liability of a taxpayer who was under audit.

Taylor made an initial court appearance in United States District Court in Santa Ana and is facing a maximum sentence of 15 years. Although more realistically she is looking at between 3-5 years.

According to the press release and the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Taylor, who has been employed at the IRS since 1990, works as a tax compliance officer in Long Beach, where she plans and conducts examinations of individual and business taxpayers.

On May 1, a taxpayer contacted law enforcement, and stated that, at a meeting two days earlier, Taylor was “inviting a bribe” in exchange for lowering the amount owed to the IRS to $10,000, according to court documents. The taxpayer was supposed to pay the bribe to Taylor on May 7 at her Long Beach office, court papers state.

The taxpayer met with law enforcement on Tuesday, was equipped with recording devices, and was given $5,000 in cash to give to Taylor, the affidavit states. According to a recording of that meeting, Taylor provided adjusted tax records to show a reduction of the taxpayer’s liability to $10,616 as agreed and, in response, the taxpayer handed Taylor an envelope containing $5,000 in cash.

Taylor allegedly took the envelope in one hand, mouthed the word, “Five?” and placed five fingers in the air to non-verbally confirm the amount of cash the taxpayer had just given her. When the taxpayer replied, “Yes, what we agreed on, yep it’s all there,” Taylor placed the envelope on her desk and stated, “We are all done,” the affidavit states.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Waier of the Santa Ana Branch Office. She is extremely competent and well-versed handling bribery cases involving IRS. Although the allegations sound very bad, Taylor is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


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